A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Cosmopolis, based on a novel by Don DeLillo, is the latest from offbeat director David Cronenberg. It's intense and complex and definitely intended for adults rather than star Robert Pattinson's Twilight-loving tween/younger teen fans, though mature teens may be interested in the film's timely themes. Sex is the biggest issue: The main character is married and sleeps with two other women over the course of one day. The sex scenes are graphic, and one features full-frontal female nudity. (Sex talk and sexual tension are pervasive throughout the film as well.) There are three sudden, shocking violent incidents involving guns, knives, and blood. Language is very infrequent but includes single uses of strong words like "f--k." And Pattinson's character drinks what appears to be vodka and brandy in two scenes, but not to drunkenness.
- Parents say
- Kids say
Taut thriller about the one percent is classic Cronenberg; as such, it's not for Twilight fans or young teens, who probably will get bored by it anyway
What's the story?
One day, Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson), a 28-year-old multi-billionaire, decides to get his hair cut. This will require a trip across New York City on a day in which the U.S. president is in town and a rap star's funeral takes place, making traffic a clogged nightmare. While in his stretch limo, Packer meets with various advisors, businesspeople, and dealmakers, as well as a doctor for his daily check-up. He occasionally gets out for meals with his wife (Sarah Gadon), or for trysts with his mistresses. As the day stretches onward, Packer becomes more and more disheveled and less able to grasp his idea of perfection. Worse, it appears that someone is out to kill him. ...
Is it any good?
Adapting Don DeLillo's 2003 novel, David Cronenberg sprinkles gloriously deep, poetic, thoughtful dialogue throughout COSMOPOLIS. One of the most brilliant and potent of all modern directors, Cronenberg is fond of tackling intellectual questions -- and fascinated by the point at which intellect and the needs and functions of the human body meet. The characters mainly discuss business, money, and wealth, as well as more abstract concepts. But at the same time, the body keeps interrupting. Food, sex, sweat, and even blood come into the equation.
Ultimately, it seems that Cronenberg is curious about the humanity of the wealthy. With all their comforts and protection, it's as if they need to stretch in odd directions for input, like a plant reaching for sunlight. Whether or not he forgives them is perhaps up for interpretation. But these questions and others, in addition to a great, dreamy visual scheme and great performances, make Cosmopolis a worthwhile challenge, though not everyone will be up to it.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Cosmopolis' sexual content. How does it portray sexual relationships? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.
What is the movie trying to say? What is its theme? What makes it timely?
Is the main character a respectable, responsible person? Is he someone to be admired or emulated?
Why does the main character resort to violence? Why would someone want to use violence against him?
- In theaters: August 17, 2012
- On DVD or streaming: December 31, 2012
- Cast: Juliette Binoche, Robert Pattinson, Sarah Gadon
- Director: David Cronenberg
- Studio: Entertainment One
- Genre: Drama
- Run time: 108 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: some strong sexual content including graphic nudity, violence and language
- Last updated: March 16, 2020
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